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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1985 Apr;33(4):273-7.

Effect of habitual physical activity on regulation of insulin-stimulated glucose disposal in older males.


The goal of this study was to evaluate the effect of differences in habitual level of physical activity on insulin action in healthy males between 60 and 75 years of age. The study population consisted of 20 non-obese individuals with normal glucose tolerance: 13 older subjects (68 +/- 4 years) not exercising regularly and 7 older subjects (66 +/- 3 years) who exercised regularly. Measurements were made of body mass index (BMI), percentage body fat by underwater weighing, maximal O2 consumption by bicycle ergometry (VO2max), and insulin-stimulated glucose disposal by the insulin clamp technique. The results demonstrated that insulin-stimulated glucose disposal was significantly increased (P less than 0.001) in the normal older subjects who exercised regularly. Furthermore, a direct relationship (r = 0.74, P less than 0.001) existed between maximal aerobic capacity and in vivo insulin action, which was independent of either BMI or percentage body fat. These data are consistent with the view that the extensive variation previously noted in in vivo insulin-stimulated glucose disposal of older subjects is related to differences in habitual physical activity.

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